About Authour - : A first hand account of the Amritsar DC handling militancy in Punjab right after Operation Blue Star in the 80s and 90s.
Sarabjit Singh shares a first hand perspective of the climate during his tenure, the events prior that led to that situation and all the players involved. He focuses on the operational aspects of Operation Black Thunder, the tantamount tension and pressure from various stakeholders in a very charged environment, dealing with probabilities at every step. He also talks of the political set up amongst the panthic committees, the central government playing its role, a series of public disappointments and how a potpourri of all of this led to the rise of militancy. He breaks out the various groups that had their own motives and how it all played out.
The book is a collection of his thoughts so isn't very fluid and does come back with repetition at times but rather than aiming for a Pulitzer, this book does well to document one of the darkest phases Punjab has had to see in it's recent history and what was the thinking behind the government machinery in trying to tackle the same.
ABout the Book
Terrorism has affected several of India's states, at different times and in different forms and continues to be a matter of national and increasingly international concern. One of the states most affected by terrorism was Punjab, which was torn apart by acts of violence during the 1980s, while its people were caught in the crossfire between the threats of the terrorists and the Indian government's attempts to combat them. The Golden Temple in Amritsar was the scene of two pivotal anti-terrorist operations during this decade - Operation Blue Star in 1984 followed by Operation Black Thunder in 1988, when the Indian government dislodged terrorists who had occupied this holiest of Sikh places of worship. The consequences of Operation Blue Star included the assassination of Indira Gandh, the Prime Minister who sanctioned the operation. The success of Operation Black Thunder, on the other hand, was a turning point in the battle against terrorism. Centred around a gripping account of Operation Black Thunder, by one who initiated it and was intimately involved in executing it, this absorbing book analyses the factors responsible for the rise and growth of terrorism in Punjab, including the role of Pakistan in promoting terrorism in India. Pulling no punches, the author also criticizes the role of politicians and the Congress government in Delhi, particularly its use of central intelligence agencies in order to undermine the growth of a regional party like the Aklali Dal by promoting the rise of leaders such as Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Sarab Jit Singh covers the history of Punjab during the 1980s from before the Rajiv-Longowal Accord, through the tenure of successive Governors and their measures to curb terrorism, till elections were held in the early 1990s and peace was finally restored to Punjab. In the process he brings to light many crucial and significant events which have remained shrouded in mystery. Combining an impartial and authentic eyewitness account of a tumultuous period in contemporary political history with a critical analyses of the causes of the growth of terrorism in Punjab and the methods used to combat it, this book will be of interest to students of politics, public administration, contemporary Indian history and the general reader.
Table of Contents:
- The Golden Temple
- In the Eye of the Storm
- The Sikh Heritage and the Punjab Problem
- The Rajiv-Longowal Accord
- The 'Secret' Healing Touch
- S.S. Barnala's Government
- The Healing Touch Impaired
- Governor Ray's Tenure
- The Politics of the Clergy
- January - March 1988
- The Killings Increase
- April - May 1988
- Measures to End the Killing
- Operation Black Thunder
- The Militants Surrender
- Trial at Midnight
- Restoring the Maryada
- Demoralisation Versus a Gun Battle
- The SGPC's Dilemma
- Jasbir Singh Rode's Dismissal
- The Corridor Plan
- Jasbir Singh Rode Resurrected
- Panchayat Elections Postponed
- Missed Opportunities
- The Militants and the Police
- Between the Two Terrors
- The National Games
- A New Government at the Centre
- The 'Civil Face' of Governor Mukherjee's Administration
- Governor Varma's Tenure
- The Killings Continue
- Governor Malhotra Takes Charge
- Attempts to Restore Democracy
- Delhi's Inconsistent Punjab Policy
- Elections by February 1992
- From President's Rule to an Elected Government
- The Return of Democracy
- In Retrospect
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